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5 tips for framing a mobile marketing program

By Daniel Flamberg

Prudent, forward-looking marketers should get started with mobile media and marketing now.

During the ascent phase, especially amid the recession, prices are low. Content and merchant partners are flexible and open to experimentation. The trick is to get an oar in the water before anybody gets a lock on a killer app, rolls out a game-changing technology or corners critical market segments.

Here are five tips to get started in framing your mobile marketing program.

Focus on core apps
Lead with your long suit. Decide which of your core products or services are most useful while customers are on the go. Start there. Don't try everything at once. Try one thing.

Start with the service most in-demand -- the items most closely identified with your brand identity or your unique selling proposition.

Start small
Ask customers to do one thing. Ask them to choose, vote, get a coupon, set an alert or take an exclusive offer.

The idea is to validate the channel and test your ability to influence incremental changes in behavior. Get them to do one thing easily and quickly.

The exercise must be designed so that they like it and appreciate the effort. Victory is an incremental amount of warm and fuzzy feelings about your brand.

Market across platforms
Prepare for a range of phones and systems. Also prepare to have responses to mobile creative on the Web, in email or even by phone.

Mobile apps are critical for a few, but the real value-add for customers are rounding out the brand experience.

Use a mobile test to get customers to respond to an email or to an ad, to view and vote or to offer opinions about something they see or hear in another media channel.

The idea is to associate your brand with your customers' lifestyles in a way that they can easily interact with you.

Make a time-sensitive offer
In return for taking a mobile action within a fixed time frame customers should get a reward.

Rewards can take the form of contest entries, discounts, and exclusive access to people, places or things.

Mobile media is a direct response platform. Many customers come to it with expectations set by direct marketers, so deliver on them.

Ask about it
Do a customer satisfaction survey to gauge customer reactions and gather customer input and feedback.

Mobile marketing is evolving. Who better to help you plan step number two than the folks who responded to your initial foray?

Daniel Flamberg is managing partner of Booster Rocket, New York. Reach him at .